Although I’m a stickler for Goal Clarity I stumble from time to time over lack of goal clarity that looms everywhere.
The most recent example was with a little IT project that we, my son and I, would accomplish for the business of my wife. Doing business with family members is hard enough but yet we tried. The project had a very clear deadline that was unrelated to the project. That’s where the problems started. In reality you may actually encounter that often, your goals have deadlines. You can play a game of sports and the goals are to get the ball in the opposing teams area but within the time frame allowed for the game.
So to cut it short, we failed and didn’t deliver on time so we’ll have to wait for other opportunities to occur to ever finalize it.
What went wrong?
Scope creep is I guess the right word for it. Impressed with the capabilities of what my son and I could deliver on the web, my wife started to ask for more and more features. Not being knowledgeable at all about the complexity of the system, she never gave a thought to changing a real world project to something in cyberspace. Willing to satisfy her goals and showing our cyber-capabilities my son and I got lost in a race against time and never sat down to review where we were and the realities of the project.
So what could have saved the project?
Scope creep is just another word for lack of Goal Clarity. Not reviewing where you are and not realizing the time it would take to accomplish is also just another case of no Goal Clarity. The solutions are embarrassingly obvious; setting the goals, checking every change against these goals and ensuring the client realizes what it will take to accomplish the goals.